I was walking home from the subway last night when a chihuahua without a leash but in a big dog coat walked out from behind a parked car and slowly ambled towards me. I immediately crouched down and hugged it so it didn’t run back into traffic.
"Hey cutie! What happened? Are you lost?" I asked.
The dog just stood there and looked me in the eye as I wondered what I should do. Am I bringing this dog home? Do I need to make posters? I started thinking about those fliers with the phone number on the bottom 10 times but realized that I wasn’t selling this little guy and that was unnecessary. The dog stood near me even as I let it go and I looked around my block.
"Where are you from cutie? Did you get out?"
The dog continued to look me in the eye as I pet it and looked around the dark street. Finally, I heard a voice behind me:
"Hesper, come here."
I turned around to see the middle-aged Greek woman who lives on my block smoking a few yards behind me. I suddenly recognized her as the lady who walks her three dogs without a leash.
"Oh, I’m sorry, I thought he was lost," I explained.
She took a drag of her cigarette and threw me a half-interested gaze.
"She likes to listen to people. I let her listen to you for a little bit."
I turned back to Hesper as it waited to see if I had anything else to say. I didn’t, and the woman called her again:
"Hesper, come here!"
Hesper slowly ambled towards her, and I got up and walked away without another word. No shame in talking if someone’s willing to listen, as I always say.